Every day, the Department of Agriculture is hard at work to strengthen the rural economy and grow our rural communities.
Right now we continue to focus on responding to the drought that’s impacting much of our nation. My thoughts remain with those who are affected, and President Obama and I will continue doing all we can to help. Unfortunately the disaster programs contained in the 2008 Farm Bill have already expired, leaving us with limited tools – and the House of Representatives still has not passed a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill, or any other drought assistance.
The Obama Administration continues to call on Congress to give USDA the tools it needs to help those impacted by drought. Read more »
Earlier this week Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien and Congressman Bruce Braley met with nearly 30 northeast Iowa producers and residents to discuss the important role rural economic development provisions have in the upcoming discussions of the next farm, food and jobs bill.
Iowa producers and residents discuss the impact the next farm, food and jobs bill can have on rural economies with Congressman Braley (in yellow shirt at head of table) and Deputy Under Secretary O’Brien (next to flag).
O’Brien said a goal with the next farm bill is to make it easier for people to access USDA support, ensuring that emerging rural businesses have the capital they need to grow and create jobs, and investing in communities pursuing regional growth. Read more »
Last week, the Senate Agriculture Committee took a first look at a proposed version of the Farm Bill – or, as I call it – the farm, food and jobs bill. This is an important first step in the process to write the legislation and get it passed into law.
Farmers, ranchers, and the men and women who live in rural communities deserve to know what the rules will be moving forward.
With the current law expiring, we cannot wait any longer to reauthorize this essential law for rural America. It needs to happen this year. Read more »
On Monday, I laid out my priorities for the upcoming Farm Bill. This legislation addresses farming, but also deals with many important aspects of life in America. It’s about supporting the jobs of the future, it’s about keeping pace with the changing needs of agriculture and rural America, and it’s about providing a safe and ample food supply for the nation.
But it must begin with our responsibility to strengthen agriculture, a bright spot in today’s economy.
As Congress writes the portion of the bill involving agriculture, the focus should be on three core principles that have shaped the success of the American farmer over generations: maintaining a strong safety net, supporting sustainable productivity and promoting vibrant markets. Read more »
Whether shoppers stroll through a grocery store or visit a local farmer’s market, they often wonder where meat or produce comes from.
The Country of Origin Labeling program, or COOL, began as an amendment by Congress to the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 in the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bill. However, COOL did not officially take effect until March 2009. This regulation requires retailers, such as grocery stores, supermarkets, and club stores, to provide accurate country of origin information on all covered commodities, including muscle cuts and ground beef (including veal); pork, lamb, goat, and chicken; wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; fruits and vegetables; peanut, pecans, and macadamia nuts; and ginseng. Read more »
In early August, USDA Rural Development Puerto Rico held a stakeholder meeting to discuss Rural Development priorities for President Obama’s 2013 budget and 2012 Farm Bill.
The main objective the meeting was to obtain valuable input to develop and improve our mission area priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. Leaders of local businesses & NGO’s shared their ideas and discussed on how Rural Development can enhance their programs and serve better our rural communities. Read more »